Smoky Red Swiss Chard


The biggest lesson I have learned about nutrition is that what we think is the gospel truth about the best diet for us today, is likely to be overturned tomorrow. For a long time I was stuck in the low-fat mindset, and so I am late to the bacon party.

As a recovering, strict dieter, I am re-discovering delicious foods. I embrace a moderate diet with freedom and responsible choices. Many of the recipes I am going back to are ones that my mother created in our family kitchen. That kitchen always smelled appetizing whether it was a savory dinner or Christmas cookies.

Mom routinely made a humble side dish of sautéed swiss chard with bacon. A while back my sister made her version of it, without the bacon, and I was inspired to recreate it. This veggie side dish pairs nicely with any simple protein for a weeknight dinner, and perhaps lunch the next day. My husband likes to have rice with this to soak up the extra liquid.

For strict plant-based eaters,  please know that the bacon is not a necessity in this dish. There is a bacon free version at the end of this post.

With four servings per recipe, a couple can enjoy dinner and lunch each from this one 20-minute recipe. Or a family of four is all set for a delicious side dish when salad seems boring.

Smoky Red Swiss Chard with Bacon


4  Cloves garlic, chopped

2  Tbsp olive oil

2  Slices of bacon, cut into small dice

1/4 cup of bone broth or chicken stock or vegetable stock

1  16 oz. can petite cut diced tomatoes or 2 cups fresh tomatoes.

2 Bunches of Swiss chard washed drained and chopped (including stems)

1 Tbsp Liquid Smoke  *

1  tsp dried rosemary or 1 sprig fresh.

Several grinds of smoked sea salt and fresh ground pepper


  1. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, add garlic and sauté one minute, do not burn it.

       2. Add diced bacon and cook until just done.

       3. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix gently. Bring to a boil, and then cover and simmer on low heat until the chard is tender about 15 minutes. Uncover and bring to a boil once more.  Ladle into 4 shallow bowls. Serves 4



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***UPDATE:  Lately we have been enjoying our swiss chard with sauteed leeks in place of the bacon and broth. For the leeks use 1-2 medium leeks. Wash well in a water bath 1 tsp of salt to kill any dirt germs. Drain well and chop into one-inch pieces.  Use the chopped leeks in place of the bacon and omit the broth. (1/2020)

* Liquid  Smoke Product Details: 
What is Liquid Smoke?  The answer below is according to the Wright company, one of the original producers of Liquid Smoke.

“Liquid Smoke is a product that gives foods a slow-smoked taste.
It is made from hickory, applewood or mesquite wood that is burned inside a chamber. As the smoke rises it is captured in a condenser and it cools. The cooled smoke forms water droplets (condensation). These droplets are then collected and filtered twice.”

Haddon House Liquid Smoke the only brand I could find locally is produced by condensing the smoke from burning green hickory wood. Ingredients: Water, Hickory Smoke Concentrate, Polysorbate 80.

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